Champions League Weds. preview: Group stage conclusion
Manchester United has already clinched its spot in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds and faces rivals Liverpool on Sunday in the Premier League, but manager Jose Mourinho isn’t mailing it in when it comes to his lineup on Wednesday in Valencia.
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Mourinho will start Paul Pogba and use all senior players at the start of the match, though he is bringing a pair of youngsters for the experience. From ManUtd.com:
Man City has also clinched its spot in the next round but still has the group’s top slot in play and is also smarting following its first league loss since last Spring.
City fell to Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge this weekend, and will host a Hoffenheim side still attempting to finish in the Europa League place.Rest players? With Sergio Aguero, David Silva, and Kevin De Bruyne unavailable, Pep Guardiola doesn’t have much of a choice as to who he can suit up on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium.
“We have 15 players available, so I can’t do it too much,” he said.“We are in next stage which is important but we have to try and win every game, to finish first. Last 16 is always tough but in general the next Monday when there is a draw it’s a success we are there and the team we will face will be tough.
“They were incredible against Donetsk and they lost. It was incredible and fascinating to watch as a spectator. My admiration for Hoffenheim has increased. I knew about Julian Nagelsmann and his team but now I realize how tough tomorrow will be.”
The other match to monitor is in City’s group, where Shakhtar Donetsk and Lyon remain alive for the last spot in the Round of 16.
Full UEFA CHampions League docket
Viktoria Plzen vs. AS Roma -- 12:55 p.m. ET
Real Madrid vs. CSKA Moscow -- 12:55 p.m. ET
Young Boys vs. Juventus -- 3 p.m. ET
Benfica vs. AEK Athens -- 3 p.m. ET
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Lyon -- 3 p.m. ET
Man City vs. Hoffenheim -- 3 p.m. ET
Ajax vs. Bayern Munich -- 3 p.m. ET
Valencia vs. Manchester United -- 3 p.m. ET